Ceiling Fans


A ceiling fan is a non-portable device that is suspended from a ceiling for circulating air via the rotation of fan blades.


Building upon standards enacted by Maryland and considered by states, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 required that ceiling fans be controlled separately from lights, have more than one speed, and have a switch to reverse action of the fan blades (to match differing air circulation requirements for the heating and cooling seasons).

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) established prescriptive standards for ceiling fans, which require that ceiling fans have adjustable speed controls, for example. In January 2017, the Department of Energy updated the standards for ceiling fans, establishing minimum energy efficiency levels, expressed as airflow delivered in cubic feet per minute (CFM) per unit of power consumption in watts (W). The efficiency of ceiling fans can be improved by using more-efficient motors and fan blades and by simply optimizing the fan design such as by adjusting the blade pitch. 

The new standards for ceiling fans take effect in January 2020.

The DOE website has information for manufacturers and consumers about qualifying products, including a Frequently Asked Questions document.

Projected Savings

Savings through what year?:
Energy saved (quads):
CO2 savings (million metric tons):
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate:
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate:


Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2028
Updated DOE Standard Due 2025
2nd Federal Standard Effective 2020
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2019
2nd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2017
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2016
Updated DOE Standard Due 2016
2007 MD Standard Effective <a href="#preemption">*</a>
1st Federal Standard Effective 2007
1st Federal Standard Adopted (Congress) 2005
EPACT Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 2005
2005 NY Standard Adopted
2004 MD Standard Adopted

* State standard never went into effect due to preemption by federal standard.

States not showing an effective date have an ongoing rulemaking process to determine standards.

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.